House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

Regional website for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, in partnership with the Reader's Loft.

GREEN BAY / NORTHEAST

Celebrating, sharing and inspiring poetry throughout Wisconsin.

Vertiginous

ver / tig / i / nous

 

1: I lose consciousness like a white sheet

          flashing on the line,

               untethered by the wind,  

                    pins harebrained as grasshoppers.

 

2: First a corner motions distress,

          fluttering a top hem in the

               periphery of the crosscurrents

                    at the bus station, weak with hunger.

 

3: Then my wobbling, shuffle-feet, so much 

          for the coiled fulcrum, half the pins 

               are gone, cotton snapping in a deranged tango, 

                    my head a blister of bloodloss.

 

4: One pin remains; I am woozy with the toga.

          The dizziness is extreme. I slide a tray 

               along the bars at a rest-stop cafeteria, 

                   slosh of portal juice in my ears.

 

5: My eyes are opened to the glare of cellophane,

          flapping white sheet, a different kind of godliness.

               The pin unpins. The sheet unfurls my skullcap.

                    I am lightheaded with stairs rising anonymous.

 

6: I grapple for a handhold. The expanse of sheet 

          unmoors, loose in the air like dissolution. 

               I am separated from the drapery crumbling of 

                    my body, heaped on the cold tile floor.

 

7: Consciousness returns its secret closet. A night

          manager hovers on one knee, tenting my lower limbs.

               Space is bright with vacuum; I guess at evacuated

                    minutes. Another traveler takes my place in line.        

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